“The flexibility of the software meant that we could tailor the features to suit our own organisation, which directly supported our ethos of delivering person-centred care – a value that is very important to us” – Claire Wilcox, Care Management System Project Manager.

Challenges before iCareHealth

The Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution (RMBI) operates 17 care homes across England and Wales, which have provided high quality care for more than 160 years. The RMBI’s care homes are registered for residential, nursing and specialist dementia care, providing a critical service for many older Freemasons and their dependants.

Being such a large operation, the RMBI was facing mounting pressure to maintain compliance with relentless changes to social care reforms, as well as requirements from the Care Quality Commission (CQC), Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales (CSSIW) and local health authorities. (For the RMBI, any changes to industry standards are also exacerbated by a network of care homes scattered across the UK, governed by different health boards – all with their own varying requirements.)

While the RMBI’s challenges may be on a much larger scale than many other care home providers, their case is a fairly accurate representation of the challenges that exist across a broader health and social care sector that relies on paper-based systems and human memory as primary information tools.

Management at the RMBI held the strong view that by shifting from a paper-based system to an electronic system, the organisation could drastically improve the way information was stored, shared and used throughout their multiple facilities. They were right.

iCareHealth Care and Clinical software: A step ahead of the rest

The RMBI’S Care Management System Project Manager Claire Wilcox, said it was vital that they invested in a complete electronic care management solution that would allow them to improve, standardise and evaluate the entire organisation.

“The RMBI chose iCareHealth’s Care and Clinical software because we needed a solution that was scalable, and would give head office greater visibility across the operational processes, procedures and reporting at each of our care homes,” Claire said. “The heightened transparency would also provide us with the increased capacity to manage the dispersed compliance requirements.”

Claire also explained that iCareHealth’s offering clearly supported the RMBI’s values in treating every resident as an individual.

“The flexibility of the software meant that we could tailor the features to suit our own organisation, which directly supported our ethos of delivering person-centred care – a value that is very important to us,” Claire said. “The other options available in the market weren’t flexible or person-centric.”

The RMBI have since implemented iCareHealth’s Care and Clinical Software into its homes in a phased approach, with a total of nine homes currently using the system and plans to extend this to incorporate the remaining eight homes in due course.

“I can’t emphasise enough, the pure commitment displayed by the iCareHealth consultants in ensuring that the implementation was a success for us and that we’re happy with the final product” – Claire Wilcox, Care Management System Project Manager.

Flexible, customisable assessment forms

According to Claire, the greatest level of flexibility within the software is associated with the assessments feature, which allows the RMBI to create each assessment form to their requirements.

“Using iCareHealth software, our assessment forms can be tailored to include relevant prompts to help lead the carer through the process,” Claire said. “This helps us to ensure that the carers are capturing the essential information that we need.” The flexible nature of the software has also assisted the RMBI in easily streamlining some of their operational workflows.

“Recently, an external healthcare professional reviewed our accident and incident forms and made a suggestion on how we could improve them,” Claire explained. “With the software, we could update the relevant forms in a matter of minutes, which instantly improved the process for everyone using the system.”

One source of truth for resident information

Care home environments are renowned as frenzied hubs of activity so it is understandable that care staff typically do not have a lot of time to record information while they are on shift. Claire revealed how iCareHealth has provided the RMBI with the necessary tools to more effectively manage the residents in their care.

“Our staff are incredibly busy delivering care to residents with high dependency and very complex needs, so time-consuming, paper-based administrative tasks are a burden for them,” Claire said. “The electronic care management system has freed up staff by allowing them to access resident information wirelessly, wherever they are in the care home, and complete the necessary updates for residents at the point of care.”

“The quality of the resident information recorded has greatly improved, both in terms of legibility and the level of detail included,” she said.

Hassle-free staff handovers

Another key feature of the software enables staff to create detailed handover reports ensuring no information is missed during staff handovers.

“The way the data is captured and flows through the electronic system has helped us to improve the lines of communication between staff. The handover report provides a clearer view of what each staff member has recorded including information about residents’ latest health issues, progress and required care,” Claire said.

“The electronic handover reports have contributed to improved staff productivity and efficiency, as well as enhanced supervision and appraisals,” she said.

Multiple benefits for senior and regional management

The various features of Care and Clinical software have provided prevalent benefits, not only for care staff on the frontlines but also for senior management at the RMBI.

“The senior management team enjoy using the software because of the greater level of visibility and accuracy they now have,” Claire said.

“In the case where a relative might have queries regarding the care their loved one is receiving, a manager can now easily access care information and outcomes for that resident,” Claire explained. “The system is so easy to use and understand so relatives of residents clearly appreciate the clear evidence that outlines our interactions with residents.”

Because Care and Clinical software centralises information from across the organisation, it has provided greater efficiencies for management at local and head office levels. Reports that were once tedious and time-consuming to compile, can now be instantly accessed and manipulated as necessary.

“On a quarterly basis, we have to submit a range of statistics to our health and safety consultants such as the number of resident falls or hospital admissions,” Claire said. “Collating this information required staff having to manually tally up those incidents, senior management to review the data and regional managers to collate the information from all the care homes before submitting it.

Using Care and Clinical software as the sole source of data means that the RMBI no longer has to waste time trying to access, interrogate and collate that information. Reporting functionality has provided a more effective way for senior and regional management to produce configurable care quality reports, export to Excel, and share as required.

It is fair to say that the organisation has already experienced a range of benefits since making the shift from paper to electronic.
“In many ways, we already accomplished what we set out to achieve,” Claire said. “The siloed operational structures that were operating in each of our care homes have been replaced by an integrated system, which has standardised our practice.”

“Our corporate governance continues to improve, as we now have the opportunity to more closely monitor the records and performance across the homes using the software, and share those trends and best practices between the facilities,” she said.

Beyond the benefits, there is another important reason that Claire would recommend iCareHealth’s solution to those providers who are considering investing in an electronic care management system. That is, the enduring support that the RMBI has received from the team.

“I can’t emphasise enough, the pure commitment displayed by the iCareHealth consultants in ensuring that the implementation was a success for us and that we’re happy with the final product,” she said. “Whenever I’ve needed support throughout the process, they’ve always been there – the team is very dedicated and very knowledgeable.”

Curious to find out what iCareHealth’s Care and Clinical software can do for your organisation? Contact us today.